Monday, October 08, 2012

Why My Story Matters

 Photo credit: Blusson Spinal Cord Centre

Last week, I went to the Blusson Centre, a beautiful new medical building that houses the UBC spinal cord injury research centre for an orientation for the UBC Health Mentors Program.

Photo credit: Blusson Spinal Cord Centre

Here's a peek of the inside. It's bright, welcoming and totally accessible. I love the architecture.  

I think I mentioned going for an interview to join the program way back in the spring and not long after that, I got an email saying I was accepted. The way this program works is that future health care practitioners are matched with a Health Mentor, who has a chronic illness and/or disability. The program offers the students the opportunity for patient-centered learning through working with their mentor for a period of 16 months and has been accredited as part of their formal education. It includes students from medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, dietetics and speech and language pathology & audiology.

On Wednesday night, I finally got to meet the students I will be working with from now until January 2014! I have four lovely young women assigned to me. My students are studying medicine, nursing, dentistry and occupational therapy. We will begin our work together in less than 2 weeks. I got a very positive vibe about how our group is going to mesh. I believe learning is a shared experience I think this is going to be a great one for all of us.

I am really excited about participating in this program. I've been giving interviews to medical students about living with MS through the UBC Faculty of Medicine's program for the last 3 1/2 years, but it's wonderful to have the opportunity to have a greater impact on the future of our health care system. It's easy to sit around complaining about what's wrong with our system, but that's a complete waste of energy. I believe that if you don't choose to become part of the solution, you become a part of the problem. I also feel that if I have to live with this crappy disease, then some good has to come of it. Volunteering as a Health Mentor is part of how I'm making that happen.


Bettyann said...

Wonderful chance to influence future health care providers..Happy Thanksgiving

Kris said...

This is completely awesome!